One day after US Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald called the Palo Alto Veterans Administration hospital one of the "crown jewels" of the VA healthcare system," the facility received a visit from Apple CEO Tim Cook, who tweeted that he was "honored" to meet doctors alongside California legislator Anna Eshoo, noting that the facility is "now using iPads to help treat vets and families." The message was accompanied by a photo of Cook with an iPad-using staffer.
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On Thursday, Apple issued minor updates to its OS X versions of iMovie, Pages, Keynote and Numbers. The most significant of the updates appears to be for iMovie, updated to version 10.0.5 that offers iCloud compatibility improvements for iMovie Theater, though there is still no fix for the program under the Yosemite Public Beta. Also updated were Keynote (to v6.2.2), Pages (to 5.2.2), and Numbers (to version 3.2.2).
Twitter offered details on how it battles with spam on the service, showing off a specialized tool that the company made in the process. BotMaker was built by the team, which has so far been responsible for a reduction of 40-percent "in key spam metrics" since its launch. The company went into spill some of the specifics of its creation, something it needed to make since it offers real-time interactions and an exposed developer API.
Apple is talking with at least two insurance companies about its HealthKit platform in iOS 8, according to Bloomberg. These include Humana, and UnitedHealth, the US' biggest such firm. It's not clear, though, what the parties might have in mind.
7 hours ago | Posted in: troubleshooting, networking, Apple
Many Apple online services were caught in a severe outage on Thursday, according to the company's official system status page. This included every iCloud service, such as Photos, device backups, Keychain, Mail, Documents in the Cloud, and web apps. Also impacted were Back to My Mac, Find My Friends, Find My iPhone, and iMovie Theater.
7 hours ago | Posted in: security
The UPS Store, Inc. reported that a number of its stores have been the target of a "broad-based malware intrusion," adding that customer data could have been accessed. The United Parcel Service (UPS) subsidiary became aware of the breach on July 31, the same day that the Department of Homeland Security sent out notices regarding a malware called "Backoff" according to the New York Times.
7 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, networking, Apple
Apple has posted two job listings asking for people with experience in voice-over-LTE technology, better known as VoLTE. The first asks for a "cellular systems protocol engineer," while the second asks for a "wireless communication software engineer" familiar with "SIP, RTP, and VoIP related protocols." Although it's dependent on carrier support, VoLTE can allow for much better call quality than regular or even 3G voice channels.
Participants in the OS X Beta Program can now download a second public beta of OS X Yosemite via the Mac App Store. Changes are unlisted, but since it's following just a few days after the release of Developer Preview 6, it presumably incorporates that code's fixes and feature additions. Apple is believed to be building towards a final launch of Yosemite in October, which could mean one or two more public betas in the interim.
9 hours ago | Posted in: computers, troubleshooting
A DC-based legal firm, Whitfield Bryson & Mason, is considering a possible class-action lawsuit over graphics problems with the 2011 MacBook Pro. In a post to a Facebook group organized around the issue, the firm says it has "commenced an investigation leading us to your community." The firm adds that while other posts are providing information, it wants people to fill out a survey to "determine if any legal claims may exist." The company's track record includes suits against companies like Google and Lenovo.
10 hours ago | Posted in: industry
T-Mobile is ramping up its fight against Sprint, by attempting to coax subscribers to switch carrier. From August 29th, whenever a T-Mobile customer convinces another person to sign up to the carrier, both accounts will receive unlimited LTE data free for an entire year, or in the case of existing T-Mobile Simple Choice customers already having unlimited LTE, a $10 monthly credit for one year instead.
Web Snapper allows users to capture screenshots of entire webpages. Web links can be added to the software through drag and drop functionality, or through a toolbar button in Safari. Pages can then be saved as an image, a vector-based file, or a multi-page PDF. Version 3.3.5 fixes a perpetual issue users faced in the Preferences pane, as well as a problem with some dynamic web pages. The update also includes a new licensing mechanism that should be both easier to use and more reliable.
Videobox is a tool for downloading flash video content from most video sharing sites. The software can also convert video into a native Quicktime format for viewing on a Mac or iOS device. In the latest release some fast downloaders will now automatically update when the app is launched. The series search has also been updated and a conversion bug that occurred when using 2-pass conversion has been fixed.
Tidy Up enables users to search for duplicate files and packages while utilizing various filters. A bug that caused the app to crash has been fixed in this update, along with several other minor issues.
Yate can be used to tag and organize digital audio files. Version 2.7.7 will now process MP4 files. Each file will be treated as an M4A file, which is essentially what they are if they pass the open criteria. Some regressions in FLAC and Tag Set preferences UI that were introduced in v2.6 have also been resolved with this update.
Arq is a backup utility that will make incremental backups to an online storage account. The software keeps hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for everything older than a month. An “absurd string length” error that was caused by an index file with incorrect offsets has been fixed in this release. Users must simply recreate the index file from the pack data, and replace the bogus index file.
11 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone
Another new schematics leak from Chinese repair firm GeekBar suggests that the iPhone 6 may come in 16, 64, and 128GB capacities. Modules from suppliers Toshiba and Hynix are listed, notably excluding 32GB. If the schematics are indeed representative of planned iPhone models, it may hint that Apple is doing a significant shakeup of its usual 16/32/64GB tiers.
12 hours ago | Posted in: software
Intuit has officially released Quicken 2015 for Mac, a long-awaited update of its personal finance software. Some improvements include a new UI design, matched to OS X Yosemite, and support for syncing data with a companion iOS app, which can also be used to snap photos of receipts to record purchases. New investment tools update quotes continuously, and track factors like cost basis and capital gains.
13 hours ago | Posted in: peripherals, Apple
The Apple TV is showing as "unavailable for pickup" at many Apple Stores across the US, including the most high-profile ones in California, Texas, and New York. The absent stocks are reportedly being blamed on the ongoing $25 iTunes card bundle. Sales may also be influenced by a recent Lollapalooza livestream, and Apple's planned coverage of iTunes Festival London.
22 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, iPhone apps, Apple, iPad apps
Giant retailer Walmart has lowered the cost of the 16GB iPhone 5c to a mere 97 cents as part of what appears to be an early move to clear stock ahead of the arrival of the iPhone 6, or to bring in back-to-school shoppers. The chain has also lowered the price on the 16GB iPhone 5s to $79, cut from $99 previously. Both offers require signing a new two-year contract with either AT&T, Verizon or Sprint (T-Mobile is not included in this promotion).
On Wednesday, US Federal District Court Judge Lucy Koh ruled on two motions in the ongoing leftover matters related to the first Apple vs. Samsung patent trial from 2012. The first ruling denied Apple the opportunity to recover attorney's fees from Samsung related to its guilty verdict on trade dress claims, and the second returned a $2.6 million Apple bond the company had put up to enforce a sales injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which was found to have copied Apple's iPad technology. No action was ever taken on the ban due to the appeals process, and both companies have since agreed to drop the injunction.
New photos allegedly from "deep within Apple's supply chain" have revealed what could be the backplate for the little-leaked 5.5-inch version of the "iPhone 6." The photos show the chassis of the larger "phablet" device next to the same part from the 4.7-inch version, suggesting that the models will be similar apart from sizing. It should be noted that these images could well be from Chinese knock-off devices based on rumored specs, such as the Android-based Goophone.
On Wednesday, Apple released two betas for its Safari web browser, as well as a new beta for OS X Server. The Safari betas, 7.1 for Mavericks and 6.2 for Lion and later, add new features to WebKit, the rendering engine at the heart of the browser. In addition, Apple has asked testers to focus on general website compatibility in light of changes in some defaults, and tie-ins to forthcoming features in OS X and iOS. The new OS X Server beta requires the latest Mavericks (10.9.4).
Wed August 20, 2014 | Posted in: software
Twitter users may have seen a number of items showing up in their feeds from users they don't follow for the last few weeks. In what was thought to be one of the company's experiments, tweets from users that aren't followed and random favorites from others were showing up in timelines. It appears that the feature is no longer in testing, as Twitter has added the new feature to its help page about timelines.
Wed August 20, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone apps, iPad apps
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has launched a free Spanish-language app that provides disaster-related information for families and communities. Key features of the app include preparation-related safety tips for events such as flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes and other disasters, and an emergency meeting location tool that allows users to plan primary, secondary and out of state meeting locations. Users can locate a disaster recovery center after a Major Disaster Declaration with Individual Assistance has been issued. The feature provides information about how to offer volunteer services as well as donations. The app is available to download through iTunes.
Wed August 20, 2014 | Posted in: security
Security firm TrustedSec says that it learned how hackers were able to obtain records from Community Health Systems (CHS). According to a statement released by the firm yesterday, the initial attack occurred through an OpenSSL vulnerability. An anonymous source tied to the investigation told the company that Heartbleed, a vulnerability that has made headlines in recent history, is to blame for the breach.
Wed August 20, 2014 | Posted in: software
The sixth OS X Yosemite beta enables promised screensharing via Messages, a report notes. The feature requires simply that a person have an iMessage or Apple ID account. Some options include turning audio conversation on and off, pausing sharing, and blocking requests from a particular user.
Symantec announced earlier this week that it would be issuing a sweeping change to its line of antivirus software to offer consumers a single solution. Starting September 23, the company will begin offering Norton Security for around $80 per year. The change effectively ends releases of Norton Antivirus, the company's main product line that has seen annual releases since the early 90s.
Wed August 20, 2014 | Posted in: iPad
Best Buy is conducting a one-day sale on all its iPad Air models, cutting their costs by $75 each. That makes a 16GB Wi-Fi Air $425, and a 16GB 4G Air $555. The most expensive iPads -- 128GB 4G models -- have been lowered to $855. A further $50 discount is available to educational buyers.
Wed August 20, 2014 | Posted in: iPad
The second-generation iPad Air should switch from 1 to 2GB of RAM, according to a Taiwanese site, TechNews. The third-gen iPad mini, however, will allegedly retain 1GB. That would be a reversal of last year, when the Mini was made equivalent to full-sized iPads in everything but size.
Wed August 20, 2014 | Posted in: peripherals
Nearly two weeks after its announcement on August 7th, the NFL Now Apple TV app has finally gone live. Functionally the app is similar to its iOS counterpart, providing a certain amount of free content, while hiding other material -- such as game highlights and NFL Films specials -- behind a paywall. The NFL is promising to add 105 hours of original content per week.
Wed August 20, 2014 | Posted in: networking
AT&T has become the first major telecommunications provider to declare it will offer a gigabit Internet service in Silicon Valley in the future. The high-speed service will roll out in Cupertino, Apple's base of operations, though the company has not yet revealed when it will roll out the network in the area, when it will be available to customers, nor how much it will ultimately cost.
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